I forgot to mention that we did actual hunt last night... Todd brought his elk into the local processor and Allen, Troy and myself hunted the top of the beaver ponds. We went as far as the "crossroads" and Allen saw the monster bull. He peeked his head out just enough to prove he was there. Big. He was big.
MORNING HUNT: Little Mountain
Monday, September 17
We hunted the top of Little Mountain this morning. Only one bull was spotted and no shots presented. Troy spied him at about eighty yards. He was peeing all over himself. (Of course I'm talking about the bull - not Troy) It rained a little on us first thing in the morning, and luckily it didn't amount to much so the ride back to camp wasn't a repeat episode of the giant mud slip and slide we experienced the other day.
Upon returning to camp, we chatted with the guys from Utah camping next to us and then it was nap time for me. One of my favorite parts of having a camper... crawling into your sleeping bag and dreaming of elk during a mid-day slumber episode.
EVENING HUNT: Road to the Lakes
The 2:30 wake call sprung me back to reality. A reality I was happy to wake up to... Hunting time! We figured enough time had passed since packing out Todd's elk yesterday morning, so we headed back to the side of the mountain where we knew the elk were hanging out.
Moving methodically through waist high ferns, listening and using hand gestures, we were beginning to look like a well-oiled team on a mission. The first small meadow, we split up and strategically picked our spots. Troy and Todd stayed up top to call, while Allen and I split the lower section of the open area. I heard a bugle below not long after we set up and signaled to the guys to keep calling. We were set up for maybe a half hour and I began to notice vultures flying above. They most likely had found the remains from Todd's bull. Or maybe it was something else...
While everyone else was hunting, Allen was trying to escape from the confines of his pants and long johns. I'm not sure who's cooking was responsible for this eruption or interruption from the morning hunt (I forgot to write it down in my journal - or maybe I intentionally wanted to block it from memory), but he found himself scrambling for cover while simultaneously searching for tid-bits of tissue. Jim caught a glimpse of it from his ill-chosen location above. And the vultures above had a prime view and were left wondering if they should begin circling a new target, as surely something was about to die.
Even after all that ruckus, a bull was still bugling below us. Allen didn't believe me. I offered to restock his q-tip supply. We regrouped and headed to the next meadow over. Making our way through some thick pines, we stumbled on a few large pines that a bull raked the snot out of. I tried really hard to suppress the "I told you so" look from displaying on my face. Troy let out a bugle and we decided to set up in the meadow just in case Mr. Bull was still in the area. Troy boogied across the meadow, Allen skirted the edge of the meadow to the right and I headed down below. This is where hind sight is 20/20. First, we probably shouldn't have bugled until we were set up. Second, I was focused on quickly finding a spot to set up with good shooting lanes instead of checking my surroundings.
Let's just say it doesn't work well when you are on a collision course with a bull. Apparently we were both walking in the same direction and didn't realize it until we were right on top of each other. Me, searching for a spot to set up. Mr. Bull, carelessly meandering towards the bugle he heard moments ago just above. When we were about 10 yards away, he caught a glimpse of me. I caught a glimpse of fur, which seems to be a recurring theme for me this year. I quickly cow called and he started bugling again down below.
We ended up having 2-3 bulls come back in, but never close enough to seal the deal.
Allen cooked chili tonight,
so there may be a few more mad dashes for pine trees tomorrow!!
From the Draw
A website devoted to sharing bowhunting stories. From the draw in the mountains to the draw on paper, the moments live on.